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Press Release


Freddie Vazquez and Esprit De Vie

Freddie Vazquez admires his new mount Esprit De Vie

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Freddie Vazquez and New Mount Esprit De Vie Pass Inspection at the Pan American Games

Written by: Carrie Wirth
Client: Messenger Hill Farm
Release Date: 2015-07-20

Toronto, Ontario - July 20 2015 - Freddie Vazquez and his new mount Esprit De Vie trotted passed the officials at the inspection for show jumping competition at the Pan American Games in Toronto. The pair will represent Vazquez's native Puerto Rico.
In the past whirlwind month, Vazquez's original partner Zippo Z, was sidelined with a minor injury. After receiving the nod from the FEI, as long as certain requirements regarding a new horse's competition experience were met, the Puerto Rico Equestrian Federation asked Vazquez if he could find another horse.
Working with Desiree Johnson in Germany, he tried three potential candidates in three countries, and ultimately chose the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Esprit De Vie, the former mount of Oliver Lazarus. Vazquez remained in Germany and worked with the mare for the next three weeks. He said that the he's had the full support of the Puerto Rico Federation through the process, challenging as it was.
"Everything's going wonderfully," Vazquez said. "Every day I find out something new that will only help me in the ring. I'm really looking forward to the warm-up round tomorrow. It's going to tell me a lot."
Vazquez has had much to learn about the horse in just a few short weeks, but he has had the support of Johnson, Esprit's former rider Lazarus, and the Messenger Hill Farm team, including international groom Arturo Novoa, who has also fallen hard for the pretty mare.
"Every day I just love the mare more and more and I'm looking forward to getting started," Vazquez said. "I have asked 1000 questions in many emails to Desiree and Oliver trying to develop the best program for her. You get nervous - am I going to do too much? They've been super helpful. I think she's enjoying me as much as I'm enjoying her and hopefully, we'll form a very quick partnership that will be successful."

Vazquez is impressed with Caledon Equestrian Park and is particularly impressed by the number of volunteers.
"I am grateful to the people that volunteer," he said. "It couldn't be done without them. Events could never reach this level without everyone's involvement. The venue is beautiful, the footing is spot on, the arena seems great and the stabling is unbelievable. The veterinary staff is out-of-this-world. The security is great."
Vazquez's longtime friend and mentor Chris Kappler arrives in Toronto Monday to will help him.
"He's an Olympic Gold Medalist," he said. "We have a very similar style - actually, I'll take that back, I try to copy his style! We really see eye to eye on everything. I'm looking forward to him assisting me."
Vazquez's plan is to try to find a pace that he wants, measure the striding, and figure out where the mare needs a little additional help, as well as where to leave her a little alone.
"The speed class is on the first day of the Games and I want to get my eye all set up and really come from the angles out of the turns," he said. "I just need to trust that she's a great horse and also trust myself."
Vazquez and Esprit De Vie will compete in the first Individual Show Jumping Qualifier Tuesday, July 21.
About Messenger Hill Farm
Located in Mettawa, Illinois, just north of Chicago, Messenger Hill Farm is a full-service hunter/jumper facility owned by head trainers Freddie and Jodi Vazquez. Offering training, lessons, showing and sales, every detail of the facility and the care of the horses is well-thought-out. The farm features all-weather turnout, heated barn and attached indoor arena, 200'x 285' outdoor arena, five-acre grass jump field, excellent footing, treadmill, tack room with lockers and a lounge.
For experienced riders, Messenger Hill Farm offers a show schedule at all levels - local, national and international. The Messenger Hill Farm team competes at the Winter Equestrian Festival, the Kentucky Spring and Summer Horse Shows, Colorado Horse Park, Tryon, the Traders Point Hunt Charity Horse Show, Lamplight, Ledges and more. For those just getting started in the sport, Messenger Hill Farm offers a lesson program with quality, well-cared-for horses to help riders achieve their goals.
Click here to learn more about Messenger Hill Farm or call (847) 573-1100.


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